Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), Kyoto, Japan (From the personal diary)

Two of the most famous temples in Kyoto are the Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji), which lives up to its namesake, and Ginkakuji, whose Japanese character means the "Silver Pavilion," though no one has gotten around to covering this temple with silver leaf. The Ginkakuji Temple lies in the northeast part of the city. In contrast to the Kinkakuji (or Golden Pavilion) Temple, this was never decorated with a covering of silver. It was built in 1482 by the eighth Ashikaga Shogun as a country residence. On his death it was converted into a Zen temple. It stands by a pool in which the two-story building is reflected. In its upper story it houses a gilded statue of Kannon. Behind it is the main hall with an important statue of Buddha. There is a tearoom adjacent.There are two other rooms which are interesting. They are supposed to have been used as incense chambers. Just as Zen Buddhism created the Tea Ceremony and Ikebana, in order to discipline the senses of taste and sight, it also made arrangements for occasions when people came together and incense was burnt in order to develop and improve the sense of smell.

Ginkakuji Temple in winter season
Sand Garden infront of Ginkakuji Temple

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginkaku-ji

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